When I read that the Provincetown Art Association and Museum was mounting an exhibition of Helen Frankenthaler’s work, my heart leapt. When I read further, and learned the show was to be comprised of works she created in P-Town, I got chills.
You see, Frankenthaler is the first artist whose work moved me to tears. It was her retrospective at the National Gallery in 1993, particularly the show’s “finale’, the oversized bronzed screens in that last hall that gave me pause and moved me emotionally. Since then, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find her work here and there, in Birmingham, for instance. And even here in Atlanta at the High Museum of Art. For 25-years, I’ve enjoyed this casual relationship with her lovely, oversized, vibrant canvasses.
I never knew she painted in Provincetown. I never knew she counted Mattisse as one of her primary influences. I never knew she swam daily. I never knew she kept notebooks detailing dinner party menus and guests. And I never knew that the odd 3-story structure across the street from my Ptown flat was the studio she shared with her husband, Robert Motherwell. I never knew.
But I knew that I had to get up to the Cape to see this show. And so I did.
And once again, I was moved to tears. Not so much by the scale of the work or the enormity of the exhibition or the other, non-related emotions coursing through my brain. No, this time because of the connections this stranger, this disciplined, beautiful, creative soul has had to what’s been important and significant in my life. I’m baffled by the similar affect aesthetics have on individuals separated by life, location and generation.
And amazed and appreciative for her work, once again.
Consider Rudy Giuliani…the once brilliant US Attorney for New York, buster of mobsters and crooked financiers….who was elected mayor, “cleaned up” Manhattan, then seized an opportunity to become America’s Mayor in the toxic, swirling, living dust of 9-11…now reduced to defending the orange-haired buttboy of Putin, Russian Mafioso Scum and sycophantic YesMen…so far in over his head as to be saying such shit as “truth is not truth.”
What the Fuck Rudy?
What are you thinking?
How much are you making??
We’re not idiots….and Hell burns hotter each day.
Rudolph, as we say Down South….bless your goddam motherfucking son-of-a-Yankee-bitch heart.
Last I wrote, I was saying goodbye to the automobile I had owned for almost 18 years. A trusty steed, that one. My plan was to wait until the first of this year, then buy a “beater” car, one for under 10 Grand or so, that I could pay cash for and just run into the ground. I was talked out of it by Mr. Man. His rationale was “just wait, see if you can go without one. You can use my car whenever you need one.”
And so I’ve waited. And to be honest, it’s been a fantastic decision.
In many ways, my particular living and working circumstances align perfectly to make being carless in Atlanta so headache free. I work from home. My main client is a half-mile away. My house is literally in Atlanta’s most walkable neighborhood. I’m a 12-minute walk from one transit station, 15 from another. I can ride my bike to the grocery via off street trails and paths. The dry cleaners is walkable. Haircut off the bike trail. Liquor store, too. When I do need 4 wheels, Mr. Man’s offer still stands and he gladly offers up his car.
In short, it’s been really, really nice not having to worry about traffic or pay full insurance or burn gas or suffer from road rage. Sure, I have to plan my errands a little farther in advance, but I love to plan so no big whup. And, I’ve lost 15lbs since the beginning of the year. My world is a better place.
Well, to think that I might actually get paid for, and be valued for, the words that I write and the letters that I string together is, well, something so completely unexpected that I’m not sure how to react. It’s nothing that I planned. It’s nothing that I set out purposefully to do. It’s just always been there. From those first thank you notes and letters to my grandparents to the deepest, most twisted, obtuse, bad poetry that I ever waxed and waned to. It just is.
I’m so grateful and it motivates me. Thank you innerwebs…thanks AKAFRANKGREEN.COM…thank you fingertips and that typing teacher in high school.
Thanks Mom and Dad for teaching me that words do indeed matter.
Lots has certainly happened since we last spoke…
I’m “in a relationship” with a pretty amazing man. My branding/copywriting business is going really well. The house is almost paid off. I broke my collarbone and have sufficiently recovered… I guess that’s about it.
C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. The 260lb moron in the room. Yeah, him.
Oh, I have the same recurring concentration camp dreams that you do. I can actually visualize the polar ice caps melting and Richmond, Raleigh and Augusta becoming prime beachfront real estate. I know how I’m gonna feel when they take away our meds and ban free speech. I’ve been practicing my “Praise Jesus” yell and the missionary position. Gurl, I got all that down.
What the Asshole in Chief doesn’t realize, and what I’m just beginning to see, is that the people, you know, you and me, are not having this shit. I saw y’all marching in DC. And Chicago. And LA. And New York. And Anniston. And Shithole, Nova Scotia. And that was only Day One!
He can nominate as many idiots to systematically destroy our government from the inside out, and he can rattle his sabre till the cows (and the terrorists) come home. But you know what? We got this. We will prevail.
The first stop/step will be in November of 2018. Almost a year and a half away. This will not end will for Mr. Turtle (you know, Mitch McConnell) and the guy I’d like to fuck, hard, no lube (yep, you guessed it, Paul Ryan). Take loads much, motherfucker?
Can you tell I’m pissed? Damn right I am.
This is my country as much as anyone else’s. I’ll gladly share. Just don’t take it away from the rest of us. This won’t end well.
You’ve been warned.
Last year, I stood on a vacant construction site on the other side of town and listened to a young black man cry out in fear, anger and sadness. The things he said and his body language spoke volumes about his existence. He told me that the very pigmentation of his skin made him a suspect. Or worse, a criminal. He told me how his future, despite his education and privilege and ambition and charm, was diminished. He told of a well-meaning white community, literally bulldozing through his neighborhood in the name of helping him and others of his same skin tone. He cried out over the loss of so many opportunities, usurped by those well-meaning folk from across town. He spoke of the little boys who were in jail, nothing to do but get in trouble.
I couldn’t comprehend then and I struggle to now the things he revealed. But I see their manifestations daily. I see hate through inaction. I see fear through misunderstanding, unknowing and assumption. I watch busy lives, too bothered to connect. I witness greed, insensitivity and shrill political showmanship.
Why? Why do we act this way? Why don’t we stop repeating the mistakes? Why do we behave as though we’re not the same? Why can’t we listen? Why can’t we be generous of our time, money, efforts, love? Why do we kill each other?